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Month: August 2022

PIP Personal Independence Payment Delays And The Repercussions On Mental & Physical Health.

PIP Personal Independence Payment Delays And The Repercussions On Mental & Physical Health.

Disclaimer Scotland: People in Scotland will no longer be able to make a new claim for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) from August 29 when the benefit will be replaced by Adult Disability Payment (ADP) in all 32 council areas across the country. At present, 13 local authorities are now offering ADP to adults over 16 and under State Pension age living with a disability, long-term illness or a physical or mental health condition.

Most people don’t like complaining and will not make a formal complaint about anything let alone the DWP, because they believe it would be a waste of time and could cause a knock-on effect on their other benefits.  For those that do complain and, after many months of pursuing, end up giving up.  The ones that are determined come away with a pathetic apology and feel they have hit a brick wall. They accept the mediocre admission by the DWP or Atos, Capita, that these organizations made a mistake and nothing else happens, their mental health is simply disregarded without a second thought.

ANN ABRAHAMS – REPORT

However, the most recently released report reveals that a tiny number of people pursue their complaints further and end up being awarded large sums in compensation. The report is called ‘Small mistakes, big consequences’ and is written by Ann Abrahams, the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. Ann Abraham should be a name that should stand out as well as your local MP.

Remember nothing happens quickly after all these people are not in a hurry to find money to put food on their tables, only you are”…

(The report can be downloaded using the following link: Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman Small mistakes, big consequences HC 6 (publishing.service.gov.uk)

MEDICAL EVIDENCE

Your illnesses and disabilities should be corroborated with medical evidence and letters from GPs and consultants. This payment is to help with your daily living and is not an alternative to being a benefit bum and living off benefits. This payment is for people who truly deserve the extra money because of their disabilities. The reason why the Government is clamping down is because of too many fake, lazy individuals that see this as free money.

DELAYS

Delays are causing people to become ill through worry and stress. https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/stress/what-is-stress/ Hundreds of thousands of disabled people are having to wait for £300 million of vital support, according to a new analysis from Citizens Advice.

Citizens Advice said: “PIP, which can see people with an illness, disability or mental health condition receive up to £157 a week, is a lifeline for millions of people, yet the government is playing with people’s lives and their health.

There are currently around 327,000 Disabled people on the waiting list, with an average waiting time of five months. Citizens Advice projects this means £300 million of payments that would be awarded are being held up, after all the government needs to look after themselves first before thinking about the other half of the population. You are not their priority, although you should be.

“Waiting for this payment is having a huge impact on people’s lives. Delays in assessment mean that support is held up, forcing people into impossible choices as they try to make ends meet.”

STATISTICS

  • People are facing humiliation as 1 in 5 people have needed to go to a food bank in the last 3 months who have also had an issue with PIP. Many of those waiting for a decision will also be eligible for the £150 disability benefits cost-of-living support payment but are unlikely to get it before October’s mammoth energy price hike.
  • There are more people coming to Citizens Advice for help with PIP than with any other issue in fact an astonishing 41% more than any other issue.
  • Around 150 people are contacting advisors at Citizens Advice every hour for one-to-one help, and its webpage on “How the DWP makes a decision on PIP claims” had 27,700 page views last month, up 56% year on year.

CITIZENS ADVICE

Citizens Advice is calling on the Government to take urgent action to relieve pressure in the system and help get money to people who desperately need it. It is calling for an emergency plan from the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to urgently tackle this backlog, including reducing the number of claimants required to have a medical assessment, which is the main reason for these delays – and extending the award period so people have to reclaim less often.

The severe PIP assessment backlog is not just affecting new claimants but also those seeking reassessments or needing extensions to their claims. These lengthy delays are having a substantial impact on their applications for other benefits such as blue parking badges, bus passes, and Motability vehicles.” https://disabledentrepreneur.uk/bus-passes-for-the-disabled/

Backlogs in the disability benefit assessment system are having significant knock-on effects on disabled people’s ability to live independently, new evidence has shown.

These delays are also causing further turmoil for disabled people whose support needs have increased and believe they should now be entitled to higher PIP payments.

The evidence has come from the Benefits and Work website, which has heard from a string of existing PIP recipients who say the delays are causing tremendous emotional distress and significant problems.

In March, Disability News Service (DNS) reported how the backlog of disabled people waiting for a PIP assessment had more than trebled in the last five years, from 88,500 in October 2016 to nearly 312,000 by December 2021.

DNS has also reported on similar problems with the Access to Work system, with DWP figures showing the number of disabled people waiting for decisions on their applications has more than quadrupled in a year from just 4,890 in March 2021 to 20,909 in March this year.

One of the ways the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is dealing with the lengthening PIP assessment backlog is by providing temporary (3 months), short-term extensions to PIP claimants who are waiting for their benefits to be reviewed.

Editors’ Opinion – “Do they not have enough unemployed people to do a bit of paperwork? How about outsourcing the work would be another idea and finally only appraise the people that have medical evidence to corroborate their illnesses”?

The Government is purposely dragging its heels in order to save money.

“This is Evil, a Disgrace, and a Shambles”.

Vicky Foxcroft, Labour’s shadow minister for disabled people said:

“With the cost-of-living crisis hitting disabled people particularly hard, it is shocking this government has not got a grip of the PIP backlog, which has been going on for months now”.

“Short-term fixes aren’t enough anymore. Disabled people deserve so much better than this; Tory ministers need to get a grip on this backlog, especially given the impact it is now having on other benefits for disabled people.

“A future Labour government would invest properly in disabled people, ensuring they had the support needed.”

A DWP spokesperson said:

“We closely monitor the progress of PIP cases awaiting assessment and take all steps possible to ensure claimants receive the vital support they require”.

“We can and do make in-house decisions on award reviews without referral to assessment providers where necessary and use a blend of phone, video, and face-to-face assessments to ensure support is given as quickly as possible.”

People Who Suffer From OCD

Daily Living Descriptor 6 – Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

The Upper Tribunal has recently made a decision (CPIP/3760/2016) about how people with OCD can claim points under PIP.

BACKGROUND

The PIP Regulations say that people who can’t do an activity listed in one of the PIP descriptors safely, repeatedly, to an acceptable standard, and no more than twice as slowly as a non-disabled person, shouldn’t be counted as being able to do that activity for the purposes of PIP. (I keep a note of my health online and so does my daughter. I think as a sufferer of OCD the form does not actually cover all the different types of OCD). https://disabledentrepreneur.uk/category/renatas-online-journal/ & https://disabledentrepreneur.uk/category/zena-online-journal/

Therefore there has been some confusion about people with OCD, who usually can do an activity perfectly well, but have to do it over and over again or in particular ways or at particular times.

(Assessors who are not specialized in diagnosing OCD or any other illness should not have any input about the claim – just because they have passed e-learning does not make them any more qualified than you or me).

The PIP descriptors and the regulations didn’t deal with this sort of situation very well and so lots of people with OCD lost out on awards. Now the Upper Tribunal has looked at the issue and made a judgment that will help people with OCD to earn points for PIP.

WHAT THE UPPER TRIBUNAL DECIDED

The Upper Tribunal case was about a person who took a very long time to get dressed because their OCD meant they had to repetitively try on lots of different outfits until she found one she was happy to wear. The DWP argued that this long time didn’t count for the purposes of PIP because it was just the person’s choice to try lots of clothes on. The Upper Tribunal, however, held that because the person’s hesitations and repetitive behavior were ‘the consequence of her health condition’, she was entitled to points because it took her more than twice as long as a non-disabled person to dress. But the UT did say that if the longer time had not been a consequence of her health condition, she would not have been entitled to points.

This decision is important because the principle that delays in being able to complete a task because of the consequences of a mental health condition like OCD can be applied to all descriptors, not just dressing. So a person with OCD who can eat perfectly well but who takes an hour to eat because of obsessive rituals about arranging the table, or a person who can wash perfectly well but who does so eleven times three times a day, could claim points under those PIP descriptors.

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOU

If you have OCD for example and have obsessive rituals or other behavior which means that you take much longer to do activities of daily living like cooking, eating, dressing, and so on, then you now can use this Upper Tribunal decision to strengthen your argument for claiming PIP.

Note that you will still have to be able to show that you have been diagnosed with OCD or a similar mental health condition and you do in fact have behavior that means you take much longer than a non-disabled person to complete daily living activities. Good strong evidence from people who know you will be needed.

You will also have to show that your behavior is a consequence of your mental health condition and not just your own preferred way of doing things. Showing that you can’t change the way you do things even if it is against your interests will be useful – eg that you miss appointments because you can’t get there in time owing to a dressing ritual.

DIFFERENT TYPES OF OCD

OCD is a very complicated illness it is not just about washing or checking or taking too long to shower, dress or cook food. It may be the fear of germ contamination (as I have). I know logically we are surrounded by germs but the thought of contracting something or being harmed through direct contact with an unsanitized area does not bear thinking about. I am cocooned in my own surrounding where I can keep my intrusive thoughts under control as best I can. My disabilities are not just OCD, they are Depression, Social Disconnection, and Cognitive Impairment (Cerebellar Atrophy) to name a few.

TIMING

As with everything, it all takes time and you are not a priority.

Upper Tribunal decisions take time for your claims, mandatory reconsideration, and appeals, and it may take some months before DWP and assessors finally make the decision.

Unfortunately for you, this causes considerable stress on your mental health and pressure on your finances. You can either suffer and do nothing other than wait or you could complain.

If your appeal is taking longer than expected you have grounds to contact the ombudsman.

If you have been treated unfairly and given the DWP and Tribunal time to respond and they have not within the timeframe then you need to start getting all your evidence together to build a case. You can take it even further and take it to an Ombudsman (Last Resort).

You can read the full judgement herehttps://www.gov.uk/…/ml-v-secretary-of-state-for-work-and-p…

USEFUL LINKS:

PIP delays leave disabled people hundreds of millions of pounds out of pocket – Citizens Advice

How do some claimants get thousands of £££ in DWP compensation (benefitsandwork.co.uk)

How to use DWP for compensation? – LegalBeagles Forum

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upper_Tribunal

http://www.justice.gov.uk/about/hmcts/tribunals

adminappeals@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk

Suing DWP for compensation … — Scope | Disability forum

Complain to us: getting started | Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO)

FINAL THOUGHTS FROM THE EDITOR!

If an organization or entity causes you to become unwell because of their actions, they should be held responsible and should pay for damages.

If people are becoming mentally and physically unwell because of the Government’s actions then the claimants should be awarded compensation.

If you have been affected by:

  • Emotional Distress (causing, stress, anxiety, depression, intrusive thoughts, and making your mental illness worse).
  • Indirect Discrimination (entity assuming because you have an invisible illness you are classed as normal).
  • Harassment
  • Intimidation
  • Humiliation (having to go to food banks or being pitied because you are disabled).

Consequences

If your illness gets worse because of an entity’s direct action and in the cases of auto-immune diseases you can relapse because of stress: https://www.everydayhealth.com/hs/living-better-with-ms-guide/triggers-that-can-cause-ms-flares. then, you have under the human rights act the right to take further action. https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/advice-and-guidance/what-direct-and-indirect-discrimination

Flawed System

The PIP system is flawed, it employs people who are not qualified in the field of the illness (one needs to be a specialist in the field and should undergo years of training as well as qualifications to determine what the claimant is suffering from). The system is designed to degrade people and to make them unwell. The more people that become unwell the more money Big Pharma makes and that is how the world goes round.

Making a Complaint

Do exhaust all avenues of complaint procedures before contacting the ombudsman and do collate as much evidence as you can. If you have a blog or social media page share it with the people I have mentioned in this article. People usually take notice if you have a professional site and you know what you are talking about.

If you want our help and need a letter we can send you a template with all users, names, and addresses and you fill in the blanks. Our template letters are £5.00 and you will get a download link once the payment has been processed, if you want us to write the letter for you it will cost £25 per 1000 words. Your privacy and data will be safeguarded with a non-disclosure agreement.

PIP Mailing Address is:

Personal Independence (2), 2 Mail Handling Site (A), Wolverhampton., WV98 18B

Tel Number:

0800 121 4433 ( be prepared to wait 45 minutes to be put through)

Email:

contactus@capita-pip.co.uk

** Just to explain when I spoke to PIP today over my daughter’s award the woman said that my daughter or I would have to submit evidence by post. Knowing they had an email I said could it not be done electronically (I bit my tongue about saving the environment) and the woman I spoke to blatantly lied and said there is no email address.

The amount of time I had to wait to be put through could easily cause someone who has multiple sclerosis or any other auto-immune disease and suffers from bad stress and anxiety to easily relapse. Furthermore, I do not know who they employ because I had to spell Alemtuzumab out even though I clearly told the woman the word can be found on www.lemtrada.com.

I am not looking forward to the assessment my daughter is due to have because if they make my daughter perform like a circus monkey that will mean I will have to intervene. My daughter documents her health in her online journal on this platform. I am not looking forward to having to deal with these people.

Contact Us For a Template Using The Form Below:

Further Reading

DWP admits wrongly rejecting disabled people for benefits at record rate | The Independent

People who claim PIP or were denied benefit payments could be owed £13,000 due to rule change | The Sun

‘I’ve recently had my PIP benefit claim turned down – how can I appeal it’ – Mirror Online

Thousands of people ‘wrongly’ denied PIP disability payments after surging in DWP appeals – Mirror Online

#dwp #pip #personalindependencepayments #invisibledisabilities #indirectdiscrimination #humanrights #equalityact #ocdandpip #emotionaldistress #humiliation

The Serotonin Theory

The Serotonin Theory.

I have been a sufferer of mental health for the best part of 30 years diagnosed to include depression and OCD. During this time I have tried CBT Therapy, seen a therapist, and have been given medication that has altered over the years from Prozac, Sertraline, and Mirtazapine. These drugs have literally done nothing for me other than make me feel zombified. I am now researching neuroplasticity and how hypnosis and meditation can help me heal through my own self-help therapy. So learning that some mental health disorders have nothing to do with a chemical imbalance does not surprise me. If anything dopamine the happy feeling we have when we are engaged in something we like may help us overcome disorders. Although I joke around, if I was happy living on cloud nine, I reckon I would not have as many issues as I have now (the reason I say this is I have hit highs and lows and when I am happy without a care in the world my symptoms start to subside).

Dopamine is a medication form of a substance that occurs naturally in the body. It works by improving the pumping strength of the heart and improving blood flow to the kidneys. Dopamine injection (Intropin) is used to treat certain conditions that occur when you are in shock, which may be caused by a heart attack, trauma, surgeryheart failurekidney failure, and other serious medical conditions. Dopamine is a type of neurotransmitter. Your body makes it, and your nervous system uses it to send messages between nerve cells. That’s why it’s sometimes called a chemical messenger. Dopamine plays a role in how we feel pleasure. It’s a big part of our uniquely human ability to think and plan. It helps us strive, focus, and find things interesting.

Doctors are starting to rethink that ‘chemical imbalance’ does not cause depression. Psychiatry has known for some time that the “serotonin theory” of depression, the notion that too little of the brain chemical can be a cause of depression, is a decades-old hypothesis and deeply entrenched trope in society that helped promote a class of antidepressants taken by millions is wrong, says Montreal psychiatrist Dr. Joel Paris.

Montreal psychiatrist Dr. Joel Paris: “I am afraid this has something to do with the toxic relationship between industry and academia.”© Christinne Muschi for Postmedia/File “You want to know why it took so long for the truth to come out,” Paris, a professor of psychiatry at McGill University, wrote in an email. “I am afraid this has something to do with the toxic relationship between industry and academia.” Drug companies encourage doctors to prescribe often, and heavily, he said, and have “paid many academic psychiatrists to promote their products.”

Two months after a major review found no support for the hypothesis that depression is caused by lowered serotonin activity or concentrations, and no convincing evidence of a “chemical imbalance,” the paper is still stirring controversy. Its authors say they have been ridiculed and attacked and accused of dog whistling far-right commentators who have groundlessly linked antidepressants to mass shootings. Responses from psychiatrists have been oddly contradictory, ranging from “nothing new here, of course, we knew it was never serotonin, it was never that simple” to criticisms that it’s premature to toss out the serotonin theory outright and that the authors missed some studies and interpreted others incorrectly.

Dr. Joanna Moncrieff, a consultant psychiatrist, and professor of critical and social psychiatry at University College London told the National Post. Specifically, drugs known as SSRIs, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors have been said to work by correcting abnormally low serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps move messages between brain cells and that’s thought to play a role in how our brains process emotions. Moncrieff’s study didn’t look at the efficacy of SSRIs, just how likely they are to do what people have been told they do, and she’s been accused of seriously over-stepping the data. “It seems the main criticism is that antidepressants work,” Moncrieff said. “It doesn’t matter how they work. It doesn’t matter that the original idea, the original theory for how they work is unproven. They work, and that’s all that matters.”

Contrary to any arguments or beliefs and being a sufferer for more than 30 years I know that anti-depressants make you feel zonked out, they do not allow you to function properly and make you tired and lethargic. So although I take Mirtazapine and although it is meant to be for depression, and OCD, all it does is send me to sleep, and when I wake I have to drink energy drinks to help me function during the day”.

To Moncrieff, it matters. “Because whether they work or not depends on how we understand what they are doing.” And if they are not correcting a serotonin imbalance, or reversing some underlying mechanism of depression, what are they doing? “We have to consider other possible ways that they may be ‘working,’ inverted commas, which include the fact they are drugs that change normal brain chemistry.”

The serotonin “bombshell” caused an international media frenzy, though was largely ignored in Canada, with many headlines along the lines of, “How were so many duped?” Some psychiatric opinion leaders dismissed the study as “old wine in new bottles,” arguing that no serious psychiatrist today believes depressions are due to a tidy, simple imbalance in brain chemicals or “serotonergic deficit.” Apparently, no one told the public. One survey of Australian adults found that 88 percent believe in the “chemical imbalance” hypothesis of depression. A British Columbia government website says the SSRI escitalopram “works by helping to restore the balance of a certain natural substance (serotonin) in the brain.” Forbes Health quoted a Vanderbilt University psychiatrist explaining that SSRIs like Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, and their generic equivalents work by boosting serotonin activity in the brain.The idea is that if you have more serotonin in your synapses (regions in the brain where nerve impulses are sent and received) the better your mood will be.”

“Here is my take on this, if someone was to give me £1m and said it was mine to do what I want and never have to pay it back, my mood would change. Serotonin also found in chocolate has done nothing for my health other than make me gain weight” If you could erase all my bad memories and heal by starting a new life so would my mental health become better. I have known for years the medication I take does nothing for me other than send me to sleep or make me really drowsy and I have been on a fair few in my time. I know if I was happy, I would see an improvement in my mental well-being without a shadow of a doubt, because I have seen for myself how my moods change.

“It may well be the case that psychiatrists have a more ‘sophisticated’ understanding of the role of serotonin than the lay public,” Moncrieff and one of her co-authors, Dr. Mark Horowitz later wrote for Mad in America, “but psychiatrists have failed to correct this misunderstanding.”

I, therefore, challenge anyone and want to prove my theory. I know when I was happy my OCD was less noticeable (if anything it was 95 % eradicated, I still had the odd intrusive thought here and there, and tried to fight the uncomfortable feeling with CBT). Through traumatic events over the last two decades, I am back to feeling unhappy and have had to start healing. Only a drastic intervention can cure me now”.

I did not have depression, because I was happy”.

The serotonin theory seemed promising when first introduced 60 years ago, “but was soon discarded,” said Dr. Allen Frances, a professor emeritus of psychiatry at Duke University who led the task force that created the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 1994.

The association was weak and often didn’t replicate. “Depressions are so remarkably heterogenous, there can’t possibly be any unitary cause,” Frances said. “Further study revealed just how ridiculously complicated in brain structure and function.”

SSRIs like Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft account for 44 percent of the leading prescribed drug class in Canada — psychotherapeutics.© Joe Raedle/Getty Images

But the “chemical imbalance” theory was a marketing godsend for drug companies, following the benzodiazepine crisis in the 60s and 70s when the highly addictive tranquilizers were “doled out by the bucketload” to people, particularly women, who were unhappy “just to numb their unhappiness,” Moncrieff said.

In the 1980s, when the first SSRI, Prozac, was launched, “the pharmaceutical industry knew it couldn’t market them in the same way (as benzos) because numbing someone’s unhappiness had got a bad rep with the benzodiazepines, Moncrieff said. “So, it had to convince people that they had an underlying disease and needed to take the drugs for an underlying disease.”

“If you think something is wrong with your brain and a drug is going to put it right, of course, you’re going to take it.”

For their “umbrella” review published in Nature’s Molecular Psychiatry, Moncrieff and her co-authors reviewed high-level studies in six major areas of research spanning 56 years that together involved tens of thousands of people. While there’s no such thing as a “normal level” of serotonin, Moncrieff said, the studies involved indirect measures of serotonin activity, looking at, for example, serotonin and its breakdown products in people’s blood or cerebral spinal fluid, and comparing those levels between people diagnosed with depression, and people not diagnosed with depression, the healthy “controls.”

The researchers found no overall difference in levels of serotonin between the two groups. Serotonin is made from tryptophan, an essential amino acid that comes from the diet. When healthy people were put on diets lacking tryptophan, it didn’t make them depressed. When the researchers looked at studies of genes involved in the brain’s serotonin system, again there was no consistent difference between depressed and healthy volunteers.

“I think people need to think carefully about why they are taking (SSRIs) and what they think the drug is doing for them,” Moncrieff said. “If they are taking the drug because they think it’s correcting an imbalance in their brain, I would suggest that they could re-evaluate whether they need to take it,” she said. “They should, of course, not stop it suddenly,” she said. “They should do that slowly and gradually,” under a prescriber’s care.

What’s often lost in the loaded and polarized controversy over chemical imbalance and depression, Frances said, is that mild depressions are usually triggered by stresses in our lives and don’t require medications. “Instead, they improve with time, support, reduced stress and/or psychotherapy,” he said. Severe depressions do require meds and rarely respond to anything else, he said. “No one size fits all.”

However, “Continued attacks on the ‘chemical imbalance theory’ by anti-psychiatrists are beating a long dead horse and have the harmful unintended consequence of discouraging people with severe depression from taking the meds they desperately need and won’t get well without,” Frances said.

But if psychiatry knew the chemical imbalance theory isn’t real, they had a professional duty to tell people, said Marnie Wedlake, a psychotherapist and assistant professor in the School of Health Studies at Western University.

“If they knew this was a false narrative, as the self-proclaimed and publicly recognized primary experts, they should have been out there saying, ‘No, no, no. Correction.’ But they did not. They just let it go.’”

Still, while it would be easy to pile all blame on psychiatry and the drug industry, “that’s too tidy,” Wedlake said.

We’ve allowed a “pathologizing” of our human condition, she said. “If I’m feeling happy and peaceful, that’s great, but anything else has become a symptom.” When high school kids talk about their emotions today, “they use language that medicalizes their thoughts and feelings,” she said. “It’s just my OCD,” obsessive-compulsive disorder. “I was a shy kid. Kids in my class now in university, they’ve got social anxiety disorder.”

It’s hard to sit with despair she said, even though our human condition includes a heavy dose of it.

“As a species, we don’t know what to do with despair anymore. Ideally, we would say, ‘Okay, I’m feeling somewhat despairing, it’s just part of my life, the full colour spectrum of who I am. Sometimes I’m angry, sometimes I’m sad…. But it has been pathologized, and we don’t know what to do with it.’”

And SSRIs are being prescribed not just for depression, but for social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, OCD, phobias, and the list ever expands.

Meanwhile, the mental health system is failing, “miserably,” Wedlake said. “We’ve got Apps and 10 sessions of group CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) you might have to wait for a year-and-a-half for. If you’ve got someone living with extraordinary internal distress, 10 sessions of group CBT are like a band-aid on someone who has been in a car wreck.

“We don’t have the psychotherapeutic resources we need to meet the needs of those who need to deal with their distress.”

If people can’t afford private psychotherapy, if they can’t function or work, “the only option that’s available to them is the Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft, or Celexa that their GP is handing out,” she said. “People are stuck.”

Moncrieff, the co-founder of the Critical Psychiatry Network and author of The Myth of the Chemical Cure and other books, said she is “definitely not anti-drug. I see myself as being a very cautious person in relation to drugs.” She uses them in her own practice for people with severe illnesses like schizophrenia. Sedatives like benzodiazepines can be helpful in a crisis, short term, she said. “But I think that drugs that affect the brain, we should be cautious about.”

There’s no evidence they’re reversing an underlying brain abnormality, she said, but “they are doing something to the brain. And by doing that they change our normal mental states.”

SSRIs have been widely reported to cause an emotional blunting effect, a blunting of both positive and negative emotions. “Maybe there are some people who feel that is a useful effect for them. Some people will just decide they want to carry on taking antidepressants. That’s fine. I just think people need to have this information.”

Montreal psychiatrist Dr. Joel Paris: “I am afraid this has something to do with the toxic relationship between industry and academia.”© Christinne Muschi for Postmedia/File Is she anti-psychiatry? “I question the idea that mental disorders are usefully thought of as brain disease,” Moncrieff said.  I don’t think they’re the same sort of thing as having a brain tumor or multiple sclerosis.

That doesn’t mean there’s not something going on in the brain, she said. “Of course, there is.” Serotonin is just one chemical that’s been implicated. “But that doesn’t help explain the situation. And we probably never will be able to quite pin down what it is, anyway.”

Paris, of McGill, agrees that SSRIs are overused. “The old adage is that if you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Clinicians want to do something for their patient, and these days that will usually be a prescription, given that psychotherapy is so poorly insured in Canada.”

The result is over-prescribing, and “polypharmacy,” giving people multiple medications, “but you can’t blame that on an incorrect theory.” Even though we don’t know how antidepressants work — some have suggested neurogenesis, the formation of new neurons, might be at play — “they do work for a lot of people,” Paris said. “Like so many treatments in psychiatry, and in medicine as a whole, to be fair, the effects are entirely empirical,” said Paris, who offers antidepressants if there are good reasons to suspect they will help.

Note From The Editor.

I am starting one course at a time and have already completed my diploma in OCD & Hoarding Hypnosis and I am starting to research and study neuroplasticity.

Renata Hypnotherapy Diploma

From what I have learned so far, always think in the present tense, when you are thinking about your dream job, dream, home, or dream vacation. Always be grateful for what you have and always say thank you to your God or the Universe. Believe you already have this and meditate just as you are falling asleep or when you have just woken. Visualize you already have what you desire. Never say (if (if I had it) when (when I get it), or any negative thoughts out loud). Our mind has five states beta, alpha, theta, delta, and gamma. They are distinguished by brain activity and predominant brain wave signals. This speed and frequency are measured in ‘Hertz’ and the figures are obtained using an Electrocardiogram (EEG) machine. Your 5 Brainwaves: Delta, Theta, Alpha, Beta and Gamma | Lucid We have the ability to rewire our minds, through hypnotherapy, meditation, and positive thinking.

Further Reading:

#serotonin #dopamine #neurotransmitter #neurons #neuroplasticity #neuroscience

British Gas Have Pushed An Editor Of ‘Disability UK’ To Breaking Point.

British Gas Have Pushed An Editor Of ‘Disability UK’ To Breaking Point.

The Editor Has Been Subjected To And Is Suffering From The Following:

  • Humiliation
  • Patronization
  • Torment
  • Emotional Distress
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Panic Attacks
  • PTSD

I wrote previously about how British Gas treats its customers. Today with a heavy heart I am writing about them again.

Emotional Distress Compensation | DISABLED ENTREPRENEUR – DISABILITY UK

British Gas Customer Intimidation & Treating Customers Badly. | DISABLED ENTREPRENEUR – DISABILITY UK

So to recap on the 27th of July 2022 I was put on a payment plan.

You have to bear in mind when the price rose earlier this year I tried to move my payment date and that is when the problems started in February although I did have a payment plan in place at the time but was told the only way I could move the date was if I set up a Direct Debit with the increased tariff. I wanted to move the date inline when my inbound payments were coming in. (The original payment plan which was at the time £65 and then rose to £90). Soon after I canceled the direct debit because I was not comfortable giving British Gas access to my bank account, this is when they refused to put me on a payment plan where I manually could pay by bank transfer, standing order, or directly on their website.

This has been going on for the best part of six months (Feb -August 2022).

I eventually was put on a payment plan after several phone calls and meter readings proving I was not using much Gas, somewhat five months later.

On the 4th of August 2022, some bright spark (woman) stopped my payment plan because she said I would not be able to pay online if I had a magnetic card, I told her I would pay by bank transfer and she said it was not possible even though I have the bank details to do that or simply pay on their website. There have been many agents that have said this causing contradictions to what other agents say, that I am able to pay online.

I phoned back on the 5th of August and was put back on the payment plan yet AGAIN.

I then got a letter yesterday dated 6th August that British Gas has not heard from me even though I am phoning practically every day.

In the letter, British Gas states my account has been passed to the debt collection team, threatening me with a smart meter which I refuse to have installed. Smart Meters | DISABLED ENTREPRENEUR – DISABILITY UK

I proceeded yesterday to go on their chat and set the transcript to email me at the end of the chat. You can guess I never received an email.

So today I phone up and I was met with a hostile agent who spoke to me in a very controlling manner. I told her about the letter and I said that I did not cancel the payment plan on the 4th, no sooner I had said this she put the phone down on me.

I then decided to have another go with the chat and not trusting British Gas as far as I can throw them, I started the chat again but remembered what my daughter said and that was to screenshot the chat just in case I did not get a copy of the transcript. The agent assured me I would get an email (as per the screenshot)…wrong I had no such email but I did do the screenshots that confirmed I am on a payment plan and that my account has not been passed to debt collections.

When the agent asked me if I have happy with British Gas I was not going to go into an in-depth conversation about why I was not happy with British Gas, so I simply said yes to end the chat.

Technically speaking I should be working but this company has made me so unwell I barely respond to emails and do the occasional update. The amount of time I have wasted with this company is beyond unbelievable.

Moving Forward and My Usage.

I eat sandwiches and salads maybe use the cooker 10 times a month. Come winter I am going to buy oil-filled radiators.

I would rather pay a little bit extra to the electricity supplier EON Next than give a penny more to British Gas.

“British Gas needs to have empathetic agents, not people that think they are so high and mighty and above you. They should be held accountable for their actions”.

This has been going on for six months and the number of calls I have had to make, emails I have sent, and chats are enough to test anyone’s mental health strength and state of mind.

I have reported this to the ombudsman and will be sending them another update today.

In my opinion it absolutely disgusting how they treat people.

#britishgas #humilation #emotionaldistress #anxiety #panicattacks #depression